A WOMAN IN HER 20s: Time of change and time to be beautiful in the eyes of the king
by Nicole Jeffery
At eighteen, most of us leave school and pursue some kind of a career. As women, we often see our work as temporary or secondary, because God has wired us to be homemakers, helpmates and mothers. “Then they [the older women] can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:4-5).
Parallel my life with that of my best friend. We completed our HSC [Higher School Certificate] and ventured down different life paths. I attended university for four years to become a primary school teacher. She continued seeing her long-term boyfriend, whilst working in our high school town.
At twenty-three, my friend married her childhood sweetheart and is now a farmer’s wife and mother of three beautiful girls, in country New South Wales. I spent fifteen months working and travelling the Americas with one of my sisters. I did a South African mission trip. In between adventures I taught casually back in Australia, met my husband and have at last settled down.
Your twenties are years of change. You move into the “young adult” category rather than being a teenager. You become independent. You make decisions. Career paths, new locations, studying, travelling, relationships, perhaps marriage and children, ministry options. God is faithful. He has carefully crafted your individual destiny.
Whatever path your twenties have taken, graceful aging is more about your character than your figure or looks. The sort of daughter our heavenly daddy desires is found in 1 Peter 3:3-4; “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
What makes a woman beautiful? Her heavenly father, as he has shaped her self-image and given her talents and confidence to change the world for him. The older a woman gets, the more beautiful she should become, because true beauty is inward, a heart connecting with God.
As a Christian woman, you will always be God’s girl, his princess, and his special daughter. Whatever age you turn, he still sees you as a child. Your personal relationship with your father affects your beauty, heart, health and character.
In the Old Testament, God gave Sarah, Rebekah and Esther outward beauty. But these women also loved the Lord. Be aware that no measure of physical attractiveness can compensate for the inner beauty of the heart that seeks God.
Meet a woman who has lived her life without God, and bitterness and hardness of heart is often evident. But a mature lady who has been filled with the Spirit of God is radiant. She is contented. Her heart is soft and full of his love. For years, her heavenly father has been gently influencing her soul. She is Christ-like. You can start being that kind of woman now.
Although your health can be uncertain and genetics can play a part in the diseases you may suffer, Jesus died for your sins and infirmities. The Bible promises, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8). Give your body, mind and emotions to him, for he cares for you.
Proverbs 31 speaks of “The wife of noble character”. Bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33); but endurance in daily life, chores and encounters with people builds Christian temperament (Romans 5:4).
Your twenties make up a decade of potential character growth, deepened faith and Christian witness. God’s blueprint for your life is perfect. He knows how to tie all your goals together, and he will accomplish his dreams for your life.
You need to be intentional about your days, living them with Godly purpose and contentment. Daily disciplines will cultivate a heart that pleases God. Whether you travel as a single woman, experiencing different cultures, or you become a wife and mother [or even do both] during these years of change, God’s awesome creation will inspire you. The Grand Canyon and a newborn baby were both made by him. And God wants you to look to him for help to be a beautiful lady.
You will become a woman of poise, grace and godliness. Life circumstances may differ, but one thing remains the same for all young Christian women. Our highest purpose each day of our lives is to serve and praise our king.